Multifamily New Construction Building Eligibility
Determine if your building’s units are eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR through the Multifamily New Construction (MFNC) Program.
Is the ENERGY STAR MFNC Program Right for My Building?
The MFNC program is available for all residential new construction, except single-family detached homes and two-family dwellings. See below for the specific multifamily buildings that are eligible.
Follow the decision tree below or this flowchart (PDF, 147 KB) to determine which program your multifamily building can use to earn the ENERGY STAR.
Note: As of February 19, 2020, "dormitories" and "residence halls" are eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR through EPA's Multifamily New Construction program. Units without bathrooms or kitchens meet the definition of sleeping units in all Paths of the program.
EPA ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction Program Decision Tree
1 New construction can include significant gut rehabilitations if the building is able to meet all the program requirements.
2 The primary use of the building must be for a residential purpose. In a mixed-use building, the dwelling units, sleeping units, and common space combined must exceed 50% of the building's square footage. Parking garage square footage is excluded from this calculation. Common space includes any spaces in the building that serve a function in support of the residential part of the building, that is not part of a dwelling or sleeping unit. This includes spaces used by residents, such as corridors, stairs, lobbies, laundry rooms, exercise rooms, residential recreation rooms, and dining halls, as well as offices and other spaces used by building management, administration, or maintenance in support of the residents.
3 Assisted living and skilled nursing facilities that meet the definition of Senior Care Communities are not eligible for the MFNC program. Dormitories, residence halls, buildings with single-room occupancies, supportive housing, cohousing, and other non-senior assisted living facilities are eligible for the MFNC program.
4 Townhomes may choose to use the Multifamily New Construction Checklists as well, but they must use the ERI Path and Single-Family New Homes Reference Design. A townhome is defined as a single-family dwelling unit constructed in a group of three or more attached units in which each unit extends from the foundation to roof and with open space on at least two sides.
5 As of September 16, 2014, multifamily buildings, with at least 1 year of actual, whole building energy use data are eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR using EPA’s Portfolio Manager. Portfolio Manager compares a multifamily building’s measured performance against a database of similar buildings to generate a 1-100 score. Buildings that score 75 or above earn the ENERGY STAR. For more information on how multifamily buildings can earn the ENERGY STAR with Portfolio Manager please visit the eligibility criteria for the 1-100 ENERGY STAR score page.
New construction commercial facilities such as motels/hotels and senior care communities do not qualify under the Multifamily New Construction program, however, they may be eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR through the EPA’s commercial and industrial programs. To learn more about how these and other existing commercial buildings can earn ENERGY STAR certification, please visit the Buildings and Plants page. To learn more about the new construction program for commercial buildings visit www.energystar.gov/DesignToEarn.
For buildings with permits prior to July 1, 2021:
Multifamily buildings with permit dates or permit application dates on or before June 30, 2021 may participate in any of the following programs, as long as the building meets the Eligibility Requirements defined within that program: the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes program, the ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise program, or the ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction program.
Follow either Decision Tree to determine building eligibility:
- MFNC vs. Single-Family New Homes (Above); OR
- MFHR vs. Single-Family New Homes Decision Tree
If choosing Single-Family New Homes, per the eligibility requirements for that program, buildings must have a permit date (not permit application date) on or before June 30, 2021.
If choosing MFHR, projects must have submitted their project application to a Multifamily Review Organization (MRO) on or before December 31, 2020.